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Title: Classroom Behavior
Subject: Academic Affairs
Policy No: AA: 2017: 01
Applies: University-Wide
Issuing Authority: Sr. Vice President and Provost
Responsible Officer: Deans
Last Revision: 03/13/2017
Last Reviewed: 12/22/2016


This purpose of this policy is to establish the procedures that address disruptive behaviour of students.


Under direction of the Provost, all Deans and Department Chairs shall implement this policy and all faculty shall ensure compliance with the policy.


This policy applies to all Rowan University student-instructor interactions in classrooms, labs, offices, and other campus learning environments.


  1. Rowan University recognizes that students play a major part in creating and supporting the educational environment and believes that students have a right to learn and a responsibility to participate in the learning process. While Rowan University is committed to the fundamental principles of freedom of speech, including controversial positions taken in the classroom, all types of speech and behavior must be balanced with principles of appropriate classroom behavior.

  2. Furthermore, course instructors have a right to establish clear expectations in this regard, and students share the responsibility for maintaining an appropriate, orderly learning environment. Students who fail to adhere to the behavioral expectations outlined by the instructor (either in the syllabus or at the time the behavior occurs) may be subject to discipline in accordance with the procedures described in this classroom behavior policy.

  3. Students and instructors are expected to follow the procedures described below when a concern about student behavior in the classroom arises. This policy does not replace or preclude any Rowan policies or local, state or federal laws concerning unlawful behaviors, whether inside or outside the classroom, including those concerning the health and safety of class members or the instructor.

  4. What Constitutes Disruption?
    1. Disruptive behavior can be classified into two levels.
      1. Level I disruptive behavior can include: 
        • Persistent speaking without permission
        • Engaging in activities not related to the class
        • Inappropriate use of electronic devices, cell phones, or pagers
        • Sleeping in class
        • Chronically entering class late or leaving early
        • Eating/drinking in class without permission
        • Verbally confronting a faculty member or another student using utterances that have the effect of insulting or demeaning them in such a way that it causes disruption or interference with the classroom environment.
      2. Level II disruptive behaviors can include:
        • Engaging in physical violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, bullying, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person as described in the Student Code of Conduct.
    2. Some disruptive students may have emotional or mental disorders. Although such students may be considered disabled and are protected under the Rehabilitation Act/ADA, they are held to the same standards of conduct as any student.


  1. Attachment 1 – Procedures for Addressing Disruptive Behaviors

  2. Attachment 2 – Classroom Behavior Report Form




Level I Disruptive Behavior

  1. The instructor may warn the student that such behavior is unacceptable and, if such behavior continues, it may result in the student being directed to leave the classroom. The instructor is advised to make a written record of this incident for his/her personal records in the event further action is needed.

  2. If the instructor feels the behavior warrants prompt action and/or the behavior continues, the instructor must direct the student to leave the classroom immediately. If the student refuses to leave, the instructor should contact Public Safety at 256-4911. The instructor is required to make a written report of the incident and provide a copy of this report to the student, the department chair, the dean of the college where the course is held and the provost's office using the Classroom Behavior Report form. 

  3. In the event the student is directed to leave the classroom, the instructor and student should attempt to resolve the issue prior to the next class meeting.

  4. If the issue cannot be resolved, then the matter must be referred to the department chair, who will meet with the student and instructor to facilitate a resolution. The department chair is required to make a written record of the meeting and provide copies to the instructor and student.

  5. If the issue is not resolved to both the instructor's and the student's satisfaction or the department chair believes that the student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct or the disruptive behavior becomes a Level II situation, the chair must refer the matter to the Office of Community Standards. The dean of the college where the course is housed and the provost's office will also be notified when this occurs. This process must be conducted in a timely manner so the student does not miss more than one week of class.

Level II Disruptive Behavior

  1. The first course of action is to contact Public Safety (256-4911) to defuse the situation as necessary.

  2. All Level II violations must be referred to the Office of Community Standards using the Classroom Behavior Report form. The department chair, the dean of the college where the course is housed, and the provost's office will also be notified.

  3. The student will be notified in writing by the Office of Community Standards concerning violations of the Student Code of Conduct and will have a hearing opportunity before being sanctioned for misconduct. Once a decision is made, the following will be notified in writing of the decision: the student, the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college where the course is housed, and the provost's office.


(to be completed by instructor)


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